Since the inception of Acera School as a progressive, STEM lab school, a goal was to share best practices and curricula that linked to real world innovations with public schools. Acera believes that schools should catalyze students’ passions, free their potential and inspire a sense of purpose. We believe that early and deep exposure to STEM topics and creative, systems thinking capacity building are the keys to unlock students to be ready for current and future jobs and the challenges of our time. We believe that it is the responsibility of schools to safeguard each student’s spirit, curiosity and innate love of learning, enabling them to be confident and fearless and problem solvers and leaders for their communities.
Science teachers nationwide are challenged to engage all learners in inquiry-based approaches. Join AceraEI’s Life Science Change Agent Teacher program this summer for a week of complimentary sessions focused on a) integrating hands-on labs to support student understanding of “doing science” and b) transitioning to storyline curricula to foster conceptual understanding of NGSS’s core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science practices.
This FREE five-day professional development is targeted towards 9th grade biology and middle school science teachers. Teachers have the option to attend part of the week; a minimum of 2 days is recommended. Teachers are eligible to earn 10-35 professional development points for Science and Technology/Engineering.
Focus on students authentically planning and carrying out investigations and analyzing and interpreting data. Learn how to tie emergent science on microbiomics to natural selection and body systems, using students’ own skin microbiomes as sources of evidence! Boost your skills in microbiology techniques and how to facilitate these novel lab activities in your classroom.
Develop students’ efficacy developing and using models. Learn two low-cost labs – the floating leaf disc and light reactions experiment – to aid student understanding of photosynthesis. Stretch students to design solutions to climate change.
Fine tune your approaches to asking questions to drive student inquiry. Support students in engaging in argument from evidence using curated data sources. Practice a macromolecule identification lab that is truly inquiry-driven, along with a yeast lab to drive home concepts of cellular respiration. In this workshop, teachers will collaborate with our team of curriculum writers to unpack how best practices in anti-racist education have been applied and how we drafted this storyline curriculum.
By Thursday, you’ll have learned about three pilot-tested AceraEI curricular units, including five implementable labs. Today, you’ll identify a unit in your own curriculum that could use a boost. Perhaps the storyline curriculum you piloted last year could use more hands-on labs for your Honors students. Perhaps you want to extend our What Should We Eat? unit on biochemistry and nutrition to link to metabolic disease. Maybe the narrative arc of a unit needs clarification or more coherence. Our facilitators – and your peers! – will support groups in this collaborative process.
Expand your toolkit to support students’ close reading of scientific texts. Record results on colony morphologies and interpret your microbiome data. Continue developing your curriculum boost – so that you are prepared for the 2022-2023 school year!
At Acera, students utilize free thought and inquiry, resulting in original work or novel approaches to express an idea or solve a problem. We encourage kids to see the whole picture and its parts across social, cultural, societal, scientific, and historical perspectives, and to understand the interconnectedness of forces and actions.
Students at Acera inquire deeply. They analyze and relate different aspects to each other, breaking things down and recombining them to assess a situation and address a need. Life sciences, technology, and math offer substantive and hands-on runways for kids to investigate real world issues and experiment with solutions. Along the way, students ask questions – and consider answers – in ethical decision making and weighing choices according to values, morals, and a sense of what is right.
We believe that students’ internal drive to engage authentically at school is validated when given opportunities to pursue an interest and nourish their curiosity. This creates a runway for them to make contributions that increase their sense of themselves as capable and valuable and enhances their ability to recognize their gifts and challenges. Ultimately, kids are empowered to identify a need, realize a vision for change, and combine the contributions of others to bring it to life.